I have never met a New Zealander who didn't have a sweet tooth, and my mate is no exception; jam and honey plastered on toast, afternoon tea with biscuits, a must, tarts and pies with lashings of cream. I don't have a sweet tooth, and I don't really enjoy the making of desserts as much as I enjoy creating the savory part of the meal. A hot steamy pudding though.....hmmm, yes, I do like to make a good pudding, bread and butter, rhubarb and ginger, plum and cardamom, cold climate puddings. In New Zealand the meal is not complete without a dessert, and when we visit friends, there is always something baking in the oven, there is nothing more welcoming than a home cooked biscuit or cake straight out of the oven and a cup of tea, made in a teapot, more often than not the teapot has a handmade tea cosy. Everyone bakes; our friends, our friends' children, and their children, (ooh that's scary) it's a nation of bakers, thank goodness somewhere in the world children are spending 'quality' time in the kitchen, baking the same sugary delights as their grandmothers before them. We brought Ladies, A Plate back with us from NZ (thanks again to the wonderful Miss W) and have been working our way through it. It is a collection of traditional NZ home baking recipes; Lamingtons, Afghans, Neenish Tarts......and so on. The NZ'er has done most of the baking, so far he has made; Bacon and Egg Pie, Gingernuts, Ginger Kisses, (the photo at top of page) Pikelets, and Apricot Shortcake, (Photo below) lucky for me eh? to have such a sweet natured partner in the kitchen, he makes a mean Pavlova too, which of course we all know was created in New Zealand.